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Bed Bug Treatments


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common name: bed bug scientific name: Cimex lectularius Linnaeus (Insecta: Hemiptera: Cimicidae)

IntroductionDistributionDescriptionLife CycleSurvey and ManagementSelected References


Sometimes referred to as red coats, chinches, or mahogany flats (USDA 1976), bed bugs, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, are blood-feeding parasites of humans, chickens, bats and occasionally domesticated animals (Usinger 1966). Bed bugs are suspected to carry leprosy, oriental sore, Q-fever, and brucellosis (Krueger 2000) but have never been implicated in the spread of disease to humans (Dolling 1991). After the development and use of modern insecticides, such as DDT, bed bug infestations have virtually disappeared. However, since 1995, pest management professionals have noticed an increase in bed-bug-related complaints (Krueger 2000).

Adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, feeding. Figure 1. Adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, feeding. Photograph by Joseph Smith, University of Florida.


Human dwellings, bird nests, and bat caves are the most suitable habitats for bed bugs because they offer warmth, areas to hide, and hosts on which to feed (Dolling 1991). Bed bugs are not evenly distributed throughout the environment but are concentrated in harborages (Usinger 1966). Within human dwellings, harborages include cracks and crevices in walls and furniture, behind wallpaper and wood paneling, or under carpeting (Krueger 2000). Bed bugs are usually only active during the night but will feed during the day when hungry (Usinger 1966). Bed bugs can be transported on clothing, and in  luggage, bedding and furniture (USDA 1976)/ Bed bugs lack appendages that allow them to cling to hair, fur, or feathers, so they are rarely found on hosts (Dolling 1991).


The adult bed bug is a broadly flattened, ovoid insect with greatly reduced wings (Schuh and Slater 1995). The leathery, reduced fore wings (hemelytra) are broader than they are long, with a somewhat rectangular appearance. The sides of the pronotum are covered with short, stiff hairs (Furman and Catts 1970). Before feeding, bed bugs are usually brown in color and range from 6 to 9.5 mm in length. After feeding, the body is swollen and red in color (USDA 1976).

Dorsal view of an adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Figure 2. Dorsal view of an adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Photograph by David Almquist, University of Florida. Lateral view of an adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Figure 3. Lateral view of an adult bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Photograph by Joseph Smith, University of Florida. Nymph of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Figure 4. Nymph of the bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus. Photograph by Joseph Smith, University of Florida.

The two bed bugs most important to man are the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius, and the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus. These two species of bed bugs can be easily distinguished by looking at the prothorax, the first segment of the thorax. The prothorax of the common bed bug is more expanded laterally and the extreme margins are more flattened than that of the tropical bed bug (Ghauri 1973).

Life Cycle

Because of their confined living spaces, copulation among male and female bed bugs is difficult. The female possesses a secondary copulatory aperture, Ribaga’s organ or paragenital sinus, on the fourth abdominal sternum where spermatozoa from the male are injected. The spermatozoa then migrate to the ovaries by passing through the haemocoel, or body cavity (Dolling 1991). The female bed bug lays approximately 200 eggs during her life span at a rate of one to 12 eggs per day (Krueger 2000). The eggs are laid on rough surfaces and coated with a transparent cement to adhere them to the substrate (Usinger 1966). Within six to 17 days bed bug nymphs, almost devoid of color, emerge from the eggs. After five molts, which take approximately ten weeks, the nymphs reach maturity (USDA 1976).

Survey and Management

Bed bugs are most active at night, so their infestations are not easily located (Snetsinger 1997). However, when bed bugs are numerous, a foul odor from oily secretions can easily be detected (USDA 1976). Other recognizable signs of a bed bug infestation include excrement left around their hiding places (Dolling 1991) and reddish brown spots on mattresses and furniture (Frishman 2000). Good sanitation is the first step to controlling the spread of bed bugs. However, upscale hotels and private homes have recently noted infestations, suggesting that good sanitation is not enough to stop a bed bug infestation (Krueger 2000). If bed bugs are located in bedding material or mattresses, control should focus on mechanical methods, such as vacuuming, caulking and removing or sealing loose wallpaper, to minimize the use of pesticides (Frishman 2000). The effectiveness of using steam cleaners or hot water to clean mattresses is questionable. Heat is readily absorbed by the mattress and does no harm to the bed bug. For severe infestations, however, pesticides may be used. Care should be taken not to soak mattresses and upholstery with pesticides. Allow bedding and furniture to dry thoroughly before using. One study shows that over-the-counter foggers are not effective for controlling bed bugs (Jones and Bryant 2012).

Florida Insect Management Guide for bed bugs

Selected References

  • Dolling WR. 1991. The Hemiptera. Oxford University Press, New York, New York.
  • EPA. (May 2010). Controlling Bed Bugs. Pesticides: Controlling Pests. (20 June 2014).
  • Fasulo TR. (2002). Bloodsucking Insects. UF/IFAS SW 156.
  • Fasulo TR, Kern W, Koehler PG, Short DE. (2005). Pests In and Around the Home. Version 2.0. UF/IFAS CD-ROM. SW 126.
  • Frishman A. 2000. Bed Bug basics and control measures. Pest Control 68: 24.
  • Furman DP, Catts E. 1970. Manual of Medical Entomology, 3rd ed. National Press Books, Palo Alto, California.
  • Ghauri MSK. 1973. Hemiptera (bugs), pp. 373-393. In K.G.V. Smith [ed], Insects and Other Arthropods of Medical Importance. British Museum, London, England.
  • Jones Sc, Bryant JL. 2012. Ineffectiveness of over-the-counter total-release foggers against the bed bug (Heteroptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 105: 936-942.
  • Koehler PG, Pereira RM, Pfiester M, Hertz J. (July 2011). Bed bugs and blood-sucking conenose. EDIS. (20 June 2014).
  • Krueger L. 2000. Don’t get bitten by the resurgence of bed bugs. Pest Control 68: 58-64.
  • Potter MF. (January 2010). Bed Bugs. University of Kentucky Entomology FactSheets. (20 June 2014).
  • Snetsinger R. 1997. Bed bugs & other bugs, pp. 393-425. In Mallis A, Hedges SA [eds.], Handbook of Pest Control, 8th ed. Franzak & Foster Co., Cleveland, Ohio.
  • Schuh R, Slater JA. 1995. True Bugs of the World (Hemiptera : Heteroptera) Classification and Natural History. Cornell University Press, Ithica, New York.
  • [USDA] U.S. Department of Agriculture. 1976. How to Control Bed Bugs. USDA. Washington D.C.
  • Usinger RL. 1966. Monograph of Cimicidae (Hemiptera – Heteroptera). Entomological Society of America, College Park, Maryland.

Rodent Exclusions


A proper exclusion is crucial if nuisance wildlife has found a way inside your residence or place of business. All In One Termite and Pest Control will do a thorough inspection of your home or business, inside and out to establish your areas of weakness or possible exposure to intrusion. We will also locate possible future areas of entry so you can avoid a recurring issue. It is important to note that sealing a single entry point is only a temporary fix. If there are other areas of your structure that are easily moved/dislodged, the fecal matter/urine trails and pheromones will most certainly attract other critters to the same safe haven. In other words, even if all of the nuisance wildlife is successfully trapped and removed, there is a good chance that other animals will attempt to gain entry knowing that your residence is a safe place to live and reproduce. For this reason, we always provide you with a full
exclusion rather than partial, “quick-fix.”

When sealing these areas, our technicians use rodent-resistant materials. Your property and family are worth being fully protected from animals and wildlife.

All in one Termite and Pest Control has a local wildlife expert near you so you never have to wait. Please call 904-614-7738 or email us at immediately for prompt, efficient and expert assistance.


Bed Bugs

Bed Bugs

bed bug, Cimex lectularius Linnaeus



beetle, air potato leaf (suggested common name), Lilioceris cheni Gressitt and Kimoto
beetle, alligatorweed flea, Agasicles hygrophila Selman and Vogt
beetle, ambrosia, Xyleborus affinis Eichhoff
beetles, ambrosia, Platypus spp.
beetle, Asian ground, Mochtherus tetraspilotus (MacLeay)
beetle, Asian or granulate ambrosia, Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky)
beetle, Asiatic garden, Maladera castanea (Arrow 1913)
beetle, banded cucumber, Diabrotica balteata LeConte
beetle, banded net-winged, Calopteron discrepans (Newman)
beetle, bess, Odontotaenius disjunctus (Illiger)
beetle, black carpet, Attagenus unicolor (Brahm)
beetle, black larder, Dermestes ater DeGeer
beetle, black turpentine, Dendroctonus terebrans (Olivier)
beetles, blister, Meloidae
beetle, cigarette, Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricius)
beetle, citrus longhorned, Anoplophora chinensis (Forster)
beetle, clavate tortoise, Plagiometriona clavata (Fabricius)
beetles, click, Alaus spp.
beetle, Colorado potato, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say)
beetle, common carpet, Anthrenus scrophulariae (Linnaeus)
beetle, confused flour, Tribolium confusum Jacquelin du Val
beetle, cottonwood leaf, Chrysomela scripta Fabricius
beetle, convergent lady, Hippodamia convergens Guérin-Méneville
beetle, drugstore, Stegobium paniceum (Linnaeus)
beetles, false blister, Oedemeridae
beetle, false potato, Leptinotarsa juncta (Germar)
beetle, a false powder-post, Xylopsocus capucinus (Fabricius)
beetles, featherwing, Ptiliidae
beetle, a flower, Euphoria sepulcralis (Fabricius)
beetle, Fuller rose, Naupactus godmanni (Crotch)
beetle, furniture carpet, Anthrenus flavipes (LeConte)
beetle, golden tortoise, Charidotella bicolor (Fabricius)
beetle, granulate ambrosia Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky)
beetle, ground, Calleida decora (Fabricius)
beetle, hide, Dermestes maculatus DeGeer
beetles, Ips engraver, Ips spp.
beetle, Japanese, Popillia japonica Newman
beetle, khapra, Trogoderma granarium Everts
beetle, larger elm leaf, Monocesta coryli (Say)
beetles, ladybird, Coccinellidae
beetles, ladybird, recent immigrants to Florida
beetle, Madagascar, Leichenum canaliculatum variegatum (Klug)
beetle, Mexican bean, Epilachna varivestis Mulsant
beetle, multicolored Asian lady, Harmonia axyridis Pallas
beetle, palmetto tortoise, Hemisphaerota cyanea (Say)
beetle, pine shoot, Tomicus piniperda (Linnaeus)
beetles, pleasing fungus, Pseudischyrus, Tritoma, Megalodacne, and Ischyrus spp.
beetle, redbay ambrosia, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff
beetle, red flour, Tribolium castaneum (Herbst)
beetle, rice, Dyscinetus morator (Fabricius)
beetles (of Florida), rove, ( Staphylinidae
beetles, rove, (of the World), Staphylinidae
beetles (of Florida), sap , Nitidulidae
beetle, small hive, Aethina tumida (Murray)
beetle, striped blister, Epicauta vittata (Fabricius)
beetle, southern lyctus, Lyctus planicollis LeConte
beetle, southern pine, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann
beetle, spotted cucumber, Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber
beetles, tiger, Cicindela, and Megacephala spp.
beetle, tortoise, Chelymorpha cribraria (Fabricius)
beetle, tropical soda apple leaf, Gratiana boliviana Spaeth
beetle, viburnum leaf, Pyrrhalta viburni (Paykull)
beetles, wedge-shaped, Ripiphorus spp.
beetles, whitefringed, Naupactus spp.
beetle, yellowmargined leaf, Microtheca ochroloma Stål